US approves $440 million arms sales to Taiwan amidst tensions with China
The administration of US President Joe Biden has approved two potential arms sales totaling $440 million to Taiwan in an effort to support the island’s defense capabilities amid tensions with China, according to an announcement by the State Department on Thursday.
The first sale, valued at approximately $332 million, includes 30mm ammunition and related equipment. The second sale, amounting to $108 million, consists of spare and repair parts for vehicles and weapons to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, Taiwan’s diplomatic outpost in the United States.
The State Department stated that the proposed sales serve US national, economic, and security interests by assisting Taiwan in modernizing its armed forces and maintaining a credible defensive capability.
Under the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States has a history of providing arms to Taiwan, and there is bipartisan support for such sales. However, China strongly opposes any military interaction between the US and Taiwan, viewing Taiwan as part of its territory.
In response to the arms sales, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson expressed anger and called on the US to abide by the “one China principle” and cease selling weapons to Taiwan, claiming that it undermines peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry expressed gratitude to the US for the potential sales, stating that China’s military expansion and oppressive actions in the region pose a significant threat. The ministry believes that the arms sales will enhance Taiwan’s defense resilience and its capacity to respond to China’s military threat.
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